A recent report from the United States Geological Survey suggests that the U.S. shrimp fishery may be headed for a “bait-and-switch.”
The report, published Monday in the journal Science Advances, examined shrimp stocks around the globe.
While the U, S. and Canada all reported significant increases in shrimp production, shrimp stocks throughout the world are not necessarily recovering the level of fishing that once brought in large numbers.
In response to this trend, several U.N. agencies are working to improve the fishery’s recovery and conservation capabilities.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is the most prominent organization to take a stand against the industry’s trend.
“The industry has made it clear that we are going to do whatever it takes to keep it at the level it was,” FAO Secretary General, António Guterres, said last month at the UBS Global Business Forum in London.
“The industry, which is very much in the business of fishing, has been very clear that it does not want to stop the fishing, and it has been working very hard to keep the fishers on a level that is not sustainable.
But now we are seeing that there are different fishing methods being used.”
According to the FAO, shrimp harvests around the world have increased by nearly 60 percent since the early 1990s, which has led to a drop in the amount of seafood that goes into the U-shaped fish traps and into the ocean.
“We know that when we stop catching shrimp, the sea is going to return to a very different place,” Guterre said.
“We need to understand where we are.”
The FAO report found that since 1990, shrimp production in the United Kingdom has decreased by about 40 percent, while shrimp catches in China, India, and other countries have increased.
According to the report, the U of S shrimp fishers are not seeing an increase in shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico.
In addition, the FAOs report found evidence that the shrimp industry is losing ground to the growing appetite for beef and pork in the U.-shaped fish trap industry.
In the United Arab Emirates, for example, shrimp sales in the shrimp market declined by 25 percent in five years.
According to Guterregas, the recent increase in fish catches in the fisheries has resulted in a “sudden and drastic decrease” in the total catch of shrimp worldwide.
The U.K. and China, he said, are “the ones who are getting caught up in it.”
“The fisheries are disappearing because they are being caught by the people in the catch,” he said.
The FAOs findings are not the first time that shrimp populations are being threatened by global warming.
According the International Union for Conservation of Nature, over the past 20 years, global warming has reduced the area where the world’s oceans have warmed by almost 30 percent.
In the last two decades, shrimp have been suffering from a rise in temperatures that has caused fish populations to collapse.
In 2007, the World Health Organization issued a global assessment stating that a decrease in fishing practices could increase global ocean temperatures by as much as 8 degrees Celsius by 2050.
The International Union of Conservation of Natural Resource (IUCN) has been urging governments to increase shrimp conservation efforts.
The IUCN has also called on the global fisheries trade to reduce its use of mercury and other toxic substances.